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Even after playing together for more than 50 years, the Rolling Stones still understand the value of practicing together. The band commits to two months of rehearsal before every tour, according to the Scoro website.

The routine helps them reconnect with each other’s rhythm until they can communicate and perform almost telepathically. Keith Richards knows what’s going on just by watching Charlie Watts’ left hand, for example. If the tempo of the show starts to sag, a single quick glance between the two sparks a pickup in the pace.

The group understands each member’s distinctive roles: Richards is the band’s spiritual leader, Watts is the backbone, Ronnie Wood is the mediator and lead singer Mick Jagger is the CEO, in charge of everything.

With that understanding, contrary to the famous song lyrics, they can always get what they want. And then they share it with the rest of us.

The Stones understand what it takes to be a successful team. Coming together is the beginning. Staying together is the development and working together is the key to success. If we all are moving forward together, then success is guaranteed.

There are so many parts of teamwork. One is unselfishness. Business author Joe Griffith shares a story about bees that live through the winter by mutual aid. They form into a ball and keep up a dance. Then they change places. Those on the outside move to the center, and those in the center move to the outside. If the bees in the center insist on staying in the center and keeping the others on the edges, all the bees would die.

True cooperation means working together for everyone’s benefit. For example, when Lionel Richie assembled a group of music legends in Los Angeles in 1985 to record the song “We Are the World,” he posted a sign at the entrance of the music studio saying, “Please check your ego at the door.” Not everyone had a solo in the song, even though every singer was a star. The result of this incredible team effort was a whopping $63 million raised for hunger relief in Africa and other parts of the world.

Also important is putting team members in the proper place to ensure that the team will be successful. Everyone has their strengths. That’s why Yankee and Twins managing great Billy Martin said you can’t let every baseball player choose their own position. Otherwise, you would have nine pitchers.

Too many people see business as a dog-eat-dog, or what I like to call shark-eat-shark, world in which the most important thing is looking out for No. 1. Don’t make that mistake. Support your team, department and organization.

Understand that sometimes you will be the star, and other times you will be part of the supporting cast or even the water carrier. Remember that every member of the team is important and contributes to the overall success of the project. Bring whatever talents you have and be grateful that others have different skill sets that complement each other.

I remember when I was a kid; one of the assessments on my report card was “plays well with others.” That description is just as important for adults.

Leonard Bernstein, the famous composer and conductor, was asked, “What is the hardest instrument to play?” He replied without hesitation: “Second fiddle. I can always get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm or second French horn or second flute, now that’s a problem. And yet if no one plays second, we have no harmony.”

That pretty much sums up the importance of teamwork.

Mackay’s Moral: For championship results, be a team player.

Harvey Mackay is a Minneapolis businessman. Contact him at 612-378-6202 or e-mail harvey@mackay.com.